17    Mar 20141 comment

Ireland: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Ethnic holidays, such as St. Patrick's Day for those of Irish ancestry, often spur an interest in family history.

According to the New York Times, the Irish diaspora in the United States alone numbers more than 36 million people, more than eight times Ireland's population. And this isn't even counting the descendants of Irish immigrants in countries around the world.

In large cities with many Irish descendants, such as New York and Boston to name just two, the day is celebrated by great parades. Traffic lane lines are painted green and green beer is served in bars. Parade-goers and others celebrating often wear green hats, ties or other items indicating their ancestry, such as pins or T-shirts reading "Kiss me. I'm Irish."

Many bars and restaurants will feature corned beef and cabbage or other Irish delicacies, along with that once-a-year green beer.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, MyHeritage is offering free access to its Irish collection of some 600,000 Irish immigration records to the Port of New York, covering the years 1846-1851, which includes the Irish Potato Famine period. Immigration records and passenger manifests offer a wealth of family information. Read more here.

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14    Mar 20142 comments

St. Patrick’s Day: Free access to Irish record collection

A map of Ireland, c1790

St. Patrick's Day, commemorating the life and work of Ireland's patron saint, is a day full of wonderful and joyous celebrations. This year it is celebrated on Monday, March 17.

In honor of the day, we are happy to give you free access - through March 17 - to a special collection of passengers arriving in New York from Ireland from 1846-1851.

Search now

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24    Jun 20138 comments

Guest Post: Ty’s World Trek

We're delighted to introduce a new guest contributor to our blog - Tyrell "Ty" Rettke. After battling ulcerative colitis and a series of corrective surgeries, Ty is on a round-the-world adventure and will help people he meets in various countries to trace their family histories.

From a small town (Ketchikan) in Alaska, Ty, 28, is interested in history and in tracing his own family heritage. In the first of his monthly posts, he heads to Ireland to see his roots.

Ty, 28, from Ketchikan, Alaska, is on a trip around the world

There are many reasons people travel. One trend is people visiting their ancestral homes. For me, this includes Ireland. So when I made my way across the Atlantic on my mission to circumnavigate the globe, I decided that Ireland was a must for my journey around the world.

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29    Mar 20133 comments

Surname of the week: MURPHY

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (two weeks ago), we look at Irish heritage for this week's surname, MURPHY, considered the most common surname in Ireland.

Murphy is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Murchadha (descendant of Murchadh’), a personal name composed of muir (sea) + cath (battle or sea-warrior).

Traditionally, Irish surnames are taken from the leaders of tribes or famous warriors, and Murphy may be an example of this from pre-9th-century Ireland, then under Viking rule.

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